Did you know that in some cultures a woman gets a massage for the first 40
days after delivery?
Sounds amazing, right?
Let’s take a look at the benefits of massage postpartum.
Immediately after delivery your estrogen and progesterone levels plummet
and your oxytocin and prolactin increase. This can create havoc!
Massage can improve hormone balance! It can also
increase oxytocin. This “love hormone” supports feelings
of attachment and helps with relaxation and feeling
True! Massage therapy can help decrease your
stress! It helps with relaxation and relief of muscle tightness
and improved circulation. Also, studies have shown that the stress hormone,
cortisol, decreases after massage.
Massage therapy has been shown to be helpful in pain
relief. What better time to get a massage then after the “labor”
of delivery! Get relief from the residual aches of pregnancy and or the
back, arm, shoulder pain added by breastfeeding and childcare. If you had a
C-section, speak to your healthcare provider to see when it is safe to
Yes you will feel exhausted after your delivery and the sleepless nights!
Studies have shown that delta waves increase with
massage therapy. Delta waves mean deep sleep! Postpartum massage can help
to relax you so you can sleep when you have a chance to sleep and allow for
better quality sleep!
Reduced anxiety and depression
Dopamine and serotonin are both neurotransmitters that help with emotional
Although there have not been any studies postpartum, a study in pregnancy
showed that massage in pregnancy increased levels and dopamine and
serotonin and women reported less feelings of depression
So getting a massage not only helps to decrease stress and improve
sleep that may contribute to postpartum depression or anxiety but can also
help increase these “ feel good” neurotransmitters!
Massage therapy can improve breastfeeding by not only improving
circulation and relaxing the muscles in your chest, shoulder and
body but also by increasing hormones important to breastfeeding.
Studies show that massage increases prolactin levels,
hormone that helps increase milk production and
oxytocin, hormone which helps milk let down.
During pregnancy your body had increased the amount of fluids. After
delivery your body shifts to removing this extra fluid and you will find
yourself with swelling.
Massage will increase circulation and drainage of this
There is no specific time you have to wait after an uncomplicated vaginal
You can start as soon as you feel comfortable! In fact,
a study showed that moms who got a back massage in the hospital one day
after delivery reported less anxiety.
There are ways to position yourself comfortably if your abdomen or breasts
are sore. If you have any medical complications or had a c-section always
consult with your healthcare provider.
How often and how long?
That’s up to you! Yes it would be nice to have one
everyday! Don’t have the extra cash, get your partner to give a massage!
Some health insurance plans may cover therapeutic massages.
Postpartum massage is more than just for pampering (although that is a
great reason too!).
There are so many benefits for a postpartum massage! Massage can improve
your post-delivery recovery and physical and mental wellness.
Consult with a healthcare provider if you have had any complications or
have concerns before beginning. As always, MaternalWell text support is
available for any questions.